Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Singapore related stories in the Stamp Magazine

When I read through magazines like 'Stamp Magazine', I realised that there is a considerable amount of interest in Singapore's philately development. Part of the reason is our colonial heritage, where the British and Commonwealth collectors would be interested in each area's philately development.

The interest exhibited by the journalists covered both recent stamps issues as well as old Straits Settlement era items. For example the first beaded stamp issue attracted quite some attention. By the way, the item shown in the picture below is now fetching $68, and it originally cost only $8 (last year)!

Here's another two articles from Stamps Magazine, touching on the Straits Settlement era stories. Frankly I don't see how people of the early nineteen century would have enough money to keep a $500 postage stamp. So the stamp on the bottom left is rare indeed, and likely used more of revenue accounting purpose.

Occasionally one picked up snippets of historical development, e.g. Malayan Postage Union's Postage Due ceased to be in circulation in 1968, 3 years after Singapore gained independence. So one would expect to see these postage due stamps on letters between 1965 to 1968 then. What is also interesting is the story of how there is only 32 mint specimens left. These snippets of philately related development added much colour and fun to stamp collecting.

When you pass by our libraries, take a look at these stamp magazines and you may find other interesting stories inside.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Postcards from Thailand, London, Stockholm, and Berne

I have cultivated a habit such that I will send myself a postcard whenever I travel overseas. Over the years I have collected a number of these cards from Europe and Asia. I guess they served as mementos from the travel, with date and stamp attached.

Here's a few of the postcards from London, Berne, and Stockholm. The Christmas theme postcard (upper right corner) is shiny when under the right light conditions, and the postcard from London (left) depicting a postal activity is actually quite funny.

The back of the postcards, with the cancellations and stamps attached.

One of the countries that I frequent more often is Thailand for both work (mostly) and leisure reasons, and so I have three of the postcards. Sometimes I will use the free postcard available from the hotels, but at other times I simply buy an interesting looking card from the shops.

Postcards are interesting, and I think recent years there seems to be more interests surrounding postcards, e.g. post-crossing and such. I think that is partly due to the casual networking associated with such a postcard, with relevant pictures depicting the cities, that make them interesting.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

SingPost's MyStamp - Hello Kitty & The Stars

I was walking past the post office at night and saw these cute displays at the glass windows. It seems SingPost has recently release the Hello Kitty and The Stars MyStamp Collection to celebrate Hello Kitty’s 35th anniversary. These stamps are released from 18 Mar 2009 and here is a picture of the cute looking stamps.

The set is selling at $68.00 with the 12 horoscopes in sheets and encased in a hard album. There is also the pop up effect for the centre page as shown below. The set up is clearly targetting at kids or Hello Kitty fans.

Collectors can also buy the Hello Kitty MyHoroscope MyStamp in a single sheet featuring one horoscope at $5 or a complete set of single sheets of 12 horoscopes at $60. SingPost has also thrown in a special Hello Kitty 4GB USB thumbdrive that I understand is a limited colelction item, and it will only be available from 30 Mar 2009.

I guess it is pretty clear this release is targetted at niche audience, and possibly non-stamps collectors? Personally I think the cuteness of these pictures does not really match with the stamp collecting theme and look somewhat too commercial. It reminded me of the Hello Kitty toys craze some years ago where people queued overnight to buy Hello Kitty soft toys from MacDonald. Oh well, different people collect stamps for different reasons.

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